In yesterday's mischief, U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, won passage of an amendment to strip federal protection for endangered gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states, just weeks after the House and Senate decided to jettison a similar provision from the $1.1 trillion end-of-year spending bill. The proposal from Barrasso, which mirrors a bill he recently introduced with Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, would subvert two federal court rulings and cherry-pick a species from the federal list of endangered species for purely political reasons. When wolves were delisted in 2012, 20 percent of their Wisconsin population was wiped out in just one hunting season, including 17 entire family units. In a three-year period, more than 1,500 wolves were killed in the Great Lakes states alone. The federal courts put a stop to this reckless mistreatment and slaughter of wolves, and politicians shouldn't undercut judicial review of delisting actions.
Also yesterday, Senator Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, secured an amendment to block an Obama Administration proposed rule to stop the worst predator control and killing practices on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. Brown bear baiting, aerial gunning, and other forms of slaughtering our nation's top carnivores should not happen anywhere, but least of all on federal lands designated as national wildlife refuges. Alaska doesn't own the refuges – all American people do – and what a travesty to allow these lands set aside for wildlife to become a playground for the most extreme and inhumane trophy hunters and trappers.